Pebble and Wren
240pp., pbk., RRP $A19.99
Based on his webcomic of the same name, Pebble and Wren follows human girl Wren and her live-in monster, Pebble, as she teaches them all about how the human world works—from why the moon changes shape to why we don’t eat candy wrappers—while trying to unlock special abilities without which Pebble will have to return to the monster forest.
Pebble, a young monster, must venture out of the hidden forest and into the world of humans as a monster’s rite of passage to unlock their skills but everything seems daunting., until one house seems to be welcoming. Living there is a young girl called Wren ,and her two fathers. The little monster is fond of food or, in fact, anything that can be eaten, including books, rocks, and furniture. Pebble’s special skill seems elusive as the pair become close friends.
While Pebble is a shape-shifter, Wren has talents of her own. She enjoys explaining things and instructing Pebble on a variety of topics: moon phases, humans’ inner ear structure and skeletal anatomy, and the thermodynamics of refrigeration and gradually the pair begin to understand each other and share adventures that help Pebble gradually realise that their special skill has been discovered.
Although each page of this graphic novel has only uncomplicated frames, and the nine chapters seem to be connected as a developing story, this is very much driven by the development of the characters rather than a series of adventures or quests so it’s appropriate for independent readers who enjoy this format and like to delve into the lives of the personalities.